A possible Austin audit, Uresti will appeal, Austin soccer stadium talks continue, voter fraud arrests in the Valley

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A political action committee, Citizens for an Accountable Austin, is underwriting a drive that has gathered nearly enough signatures to ask voters on the Nov. 6 ballot if they favor an independent audit of all city government functions.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra in San Antonio this week sentenced former state Sen. Carlos Uresti to 12 years in prison for his role in a fraud and money laundering scheme. Ezra also ordered Uresti, who resigned from the Texas Senate nine days ago, to pay $6.3 million in restitution to the victims of FourWinds Logistics, an oilfield services company for which Uresti served as general counsel. The judge allowed Uresti to remain free on bond as he awaits trial later this year on a bribery charge related to the investment scheme.

The Austin City Council, shortly after 3:45 am Friday morning, directed City Manager Spencer Cronk to begin negotiating with Precourt Sports Ventures to try to bring Major League Soccer to the cityThe council agreed to review the negotiation and, if satisfied, be prepared to vote on a deal at its Aug. 9 meeting.

The Texas Attorney General’s office this week announced that three Valley residents were arrested following an investigation of a voter fraud scheme that took place during the 2016 City of Hidalgo runoff election. This is the latest in a series of voter fraud investigations that experts attribute to legislation signed into law last year and to a newly created voter fraud team in the attorney general’s office. Many of the investigations are based on problems with mail-in ballots.

Also this week:

Ethics commission backs use of campaign money to pay for candidates’ child care

Judge’s biggest donor is lawyer for a Harris County GOP bigwig with a case in her court

Have a tip for The Texas Monitor? Contact editor Trent Seibert at [email protected]

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Trent is an award-winning editor and reporter, who has previously worked The Denver Post, The (Nashville) Tennessean, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Most recently, he was the investigative producer for Houston’s KTRK-TV ABC-13. He was also the editor and founder of Texas Watchdog, a ground-breaking news group that paved the way for this project. Trent is a teacher of journalism skills, and has shown hundreds of reporters and citizen-journalists how to use public records, databases and journalism tools to keep a watchful eye on their own local government.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Uresti and his partner in crime..DA Nico LaHood..were being protected by Councilman Manuel Pelaez….A Police Report was filed stating – “I fear for my safety and fear entering Police Headquarters to fill out these forms”……Police report # SAPD 18117731 is on file naming San Antonio TX Democrat Mexican Councilman Manuel Pelaez for cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, threatening, frightening and harassing a taxpayer since March 5 to silence her reports of corruption …https://texasmonitor.org/san-antonio-councilman-uses-facebook-mock-activist-couple/…

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